Pleats and front creases in trousers may not be your style -- but taking them out of a pair of pants might make you wish they were. Some types of creases, like those left in a long-folded garment, or the trouser cuff or hem you just let down, are incredibly stubborn and resist standard ironing efforts. These deep wrinkles require more than just heat to smooth them away for good -- and more than one go at it, too.
Ease Into Ironing
Start off with gentle ironing methods to avoid damaging fabric unnecessarily. Wash and dry your pants according to the label instructions to loosen deep creases before doing any ironing. Be careful with permanent press pants, as the fabric is weaker from resin treatments. Wash them inside-out and use no bleach. Once they have dried, lay the trousers out on an ironing board and spritz the crease with distilled water only, as tap water can leave mineral deposits on fabric. Iron over the crease with gentle pressure.
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The Power of Vinegar
Dab distilled white vinegar on an invisible part of the pants, like a seam, to test it for colorfastness. If the color is unaffected, make a solution of equal parts vinegar and distilled water and pour it into a spray bottle. Vinegar is a weak acid, but it can damage cotton, linen and acetate, even diluted. Spritz the crease, then iron it. If the crease remains, dampen a cloth in white vinegar and sponge the crease, then iron again. Launder the trousers to remove the vinegar smell, then iron them once more.
Spritz the crease with starch spray and iron slowly on a medium heat. High heat on starch spray causes it to flake. If this does nothing, lay a damp cloth over the crease and iron over it for a deep steam. Turn the pants inside-out if the crease remains, and rub a bar of bath soap along the inside of the crease. Turn the pants right side out again and iron over the crease one last time.
If All Else Fails
If the crease, especially a hem crease, remains after all your efforts, it may be permanent and further efforts may damage the fabric. You may also have removed the crease, but a permanent faded imprint remains. Instead, hide the crease or its faded imprint with embellishments -- draw a design over the area with a fabric dye pen, create decorative stitching or add trim and studs to make the crease a feature rather than a flaw.